This case concerned a proposed class action by representative plaintiff Anna Bouque against the defendant group of television production companies alleging employee misclassification. The action was commenced on February 21, 2020.
In its decision dated January 14, 2022, Justice Belobaba of the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario dismissed a proposed action for delay under section 29.1 of Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992 (the “Act”). This was the Court’s first published decision interpreting section 29.1 of the Act after that provision was added to the statute in October 2020.
Under new section 29.1 of the Act, unless certain steps were taken within the year following the start of the proceeding, the court would, on motion, dismiss a proceeding for delay. This section applied retroactively to proceedings that were commenced before section 29.1 came into force, including the action commenced by Bourque. The Court held, that dismissal for delay under section 29.1 was mandatory and it had no discretion to decide a different outcome, but that avoiding dismissal under this section was a low bar and only one of the conditions in subsections (a), (b) or (c) had to be satisfied, including establishing and filing a timetable for service of the representative plaintiff’s motion record.